“Also, I have duct tape. Ordinary duct tape, like you buy at a hardware store. Turns out even NASA can’t improve on duct tape.”
I broke one of my rules by reading this book – Never read a book after you’ve seen the movie. Always read the book first. I really should have followed my rules because this was a good book, but I already knew just about everything that happened.
I watched The Martian several months ago. I had the book on hold at the library and my turn hadn’t come up yet before date night happened. When it did come up, I decided to go ahead and read it since I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. I was hoping it would have a lot more details in it. (Note: so far the only time I’ve found it worthwhile to break my rules is for a movie based on a true story – the book always has more interesting details in it that didn’t make it into the movies, like with Lone Survivor.)
In The Martian, Mark Watney is part of a six-man crew that travels to Mars. After an accident during a dust storm, the crew thinks Watney is dead and leaves him on Mars. He is alive, though, and has to try his best to survive until rescue is possible when the next crew comes in a few years. He is a botanist and starts growing potatoes to have a food supply, but not everything goes smoothly. NASA finally figures out a way to bring him supplies and rescue him, but not everything goes smoothly there either. Will he make it back to Earth or die on Mars?
I learned a few extra details by reading the book, but not enough to have made it really worth my time. I also heard Watney talking in the movie actor’s voice the entire time. If you want to read the book, read it before you watch the movie. I highly recommend doing both. There is a bit of language and life-and-death situations, so I would say it is for high-schoolers or older.
I did read the interview with the author at the end of the book, and it is interesting to note that the book was first self-published and given away for free on the author’s Web site. Now it’s a bestseller and a movie!